Weekends can be hard when you have kids. You want to relax, but they’ve got so much energy that they’re bouncing off the walls like screaming little rockets. All of that explosive energy might make the thought of taking them out of the house seem like a nightmare, but it might actually be just the thing you need to help your kids channel that energy in a way that lets them have fun without driving you nuts.
Below is a list of 6 great day trip ideas that are just perfect for families with young children. We chose them specifically because they’ll encourage your kids to get out all of their pent up energy, ensuring that you all get a good night sleep afterwards. And bonus: They might even be educational!
1. Stepping Stones Museum — Norwalk
Everyone knows that kids learn better when they do something rather than being talked at by a monotone teacher. At Stepping Stones Museum, kids are free to explore and test out tons of hands-on exhibits.
The museum has exhibits for every age group: Sections for newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, and for kids seven and up! This museum is sure to spark a little curiosity and creativity. Kids love to play, and if they can learn while having fun, that’s even better. Your kids will be occupied for hours as they learn about colors, shapes, science, art, their bodies, and more.
2. The Dinosaur Place — Montville
Do your kids have a thirst for adventure? Look no further: The Dinosaur Place is right around the corner, where your kids can dig for crystals and minerals, pan for “gold,” and even search for dinosaur fossils!
If the weather cooperates, challenge your kids to a fun game of miniature golf outside. This golf course has a fun theme for every hole that is sure to keep your kids engaged. If your feeling up to it take a tour through the shops at the Natures Village. They have beautiful mineral jewelry along with kids toys and games. With plenty of different activities to keep the little ones occupied this is a strong addition to any day trip itinerary.
3. Discovery Museum — Bridgeport
The Discovery Museum has a bit of a bigger-kid vibe to it, as it’s tailored to kids around aged 6 and up. This museum wants kids to test their knowledge and ask questions about things they never would have before going, and is the perfect place to take your little science lover, or to get your child interested in scientific activities.
Exhibits allow children to adventure and discover science for themselves, putting what they’ve learned into action and allowing for fun, hands-on learning. Physical science, exhibits on energy, the moon, nanoparticles, space, art, and more open brand new worlds for your child to discover.
4. On Track Go Karting — Wallingford
If you have some big kids that need to get rid of some energy, On Track Go Karting would have to be THE place to go. Children ages 7-14 are able to drive in a race heat all on their own. (This is because they drive go karts with less horsepower than the ones adults use, making it safer for kids). Kids ages 15 and up drive in a 6.5-horsepower GT5 Sodi Kart, which can reach speeds of 40 MPH. Juniors ride in a 4-horsepower go kart that tops out around 25 MPH.
When you arrive, you go over safety precautions and then get all suited up in the proper safety gear and wait as the anticipation builds for your heat to be called, so you don’t have to worry about safety: Every precaution is taken to ensure a safe and fun day for the kids.
5. Launch Trampoline Park — Hartford
I have personally been to a Launch Trampoline park, and I have to say it’s a fun day for both the kids and adults. The park offers two dodgeball courts, free jump space, two different basketball hoop levels and a foam pit! Kids have a blast when they get to fly high and jump into a foam pit without fearing an injury.
Alongside all of the jumping madness, Launch has arcade games that can entertain your kids that need a little break from jumping for a few minutes.
6. Mystic Aquarium — Mystic
The Mystic Aquarium has been supplying adventure since 1973, and makes for an amazing day trip for kids to learn and explore different animals from an up-close point of view. Even though this is a great place for kids, it’s also important to mention how cool it is for parents. After all you have to go too, right? If you went as a child and haven’t been in years, you’ll find that not much has changed: Animals have come and gone, but the Aquarium still has its old magic.
In addition to regular exhibits, the Aquarium occasionally hosts special exhibits or events, including things like “Pancakes with Penguins” that give you a chance to get even closer to your favorite marine birds.
What do you think?
Do you have any ideas for great day trips that’ll keep kids from being bored on the weekend? We want to hear them! Let us know in the comments below, and we just might add them to our list!